Saline has a lot of churches for such a small town. Built in 1899, this beautiful brick structure housed the Episcopal Methodist congregation for a century, then became a gift shop and is now home to Stone Arch Art & Events. Next year it’s slated to become a micro-brewery. Go figure.
Early one autumn Saturday, when the Farmer’s Market was in full swing, I set up my easel a half a block away from the church. People were coming and going, carrying packages as their kids rode on bikes beside them. I fully intended to include some of these bustling shoppers in my painting, but by the time I got all of the structures firmly set in the composition, the light had begun to change and the people had gone home. I decided to focus on accurately capturing the sunlight hitting the building and a bit more subdued cityscape scene.
I’ve created tons of plein air paintings on the dirt roads around Washtenaw County. And although I absolutely love painting everywhere, the fields, country lanes, old farmsteads and small towns in MY little part of the world are still the most familiar and comfortable to me. Authors are often counseled to write about what they know. I’m sure the suggestion is highly applicable to artists as well. Each time I head out on the back roads near Saline I learn a bit more about the terrain, foliage, colors and atmosphere that are particular to this specific area. By taking time to really SEE my surroundings, I hope to be able to capture in paint the essence of what makes southern Michigan so special.
It’s definitely a life-long goal. I’m quite sure I will need years and years of study and painting trips. Oh, boy…can’t wait!
This is a portrait study I painted in class a few months ago. Rob is not a professional model but he has been a wonderful muse for me. For some reason I connect with Rob and have done quite a few portraits of him that I’m actually happy with. Painting in oil is an exciting and sometimes frustrating experience for me. I learn something new with each attempt and am really loving the journey. There’s nothing like jumping into a medium to start the creative juices flowing!
Over Labor Day weekend I traveled around the Saline area working en plein air. There’s one house downtown that I am constantly drawn to. There’s something about it that just flips my switch. When I saw the flag flying, I just had to paint it AGAIN, this time in oil. Below are some of the previous paintings I’ve done over the last few years of the very same old Victorian house. It seems that it might be becoming a bit of an obsession…. ;0)
2-hour portrait painting of our our model at class a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been practicing side view, or profiles, lately…